My jewelry crafts teacher at Peabody High School assured us all would be well; after all, a bullet had struck him in the head during World War II and he was alive to tell the tale. Then, the flag in front of the school dropped as if it no longer had energy to wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. A classmate created a haunting tattoo as she tapped her forehead back and forth against her metal locker.
Ma added her salty tears to the breaded veal chops she was preparing, and Grandma sat on her chair with a dazed look on her face. Dad held my hand, trying to convince me “it” would be OK. Five months later, I convinced Grandma to take me to D.C. so I could see what I still could not comprehend — that President John F. Kennedy was dead. I stood at his grave, felt heat from the eternal torch, but — to this day — continue to live in a state of unreality about the events of Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, when, at age 16, I witnessed what occurs what a person chooses evil over good.
RONNA L. EDELSTEIN